Austin | Dallas | Houston
Best BBQ?

The Salt Lick listed as best BBQ in U.S. by Made Man, Franklin (and most of Texas) snubbed

Enlarge
Slideshow
Salt Lick Barbeque
The Salt Lick is good, but it's probably not the 11th best barbecue joint in Texas, let alone America.  Salt Lick/Facebook
Franklin Barbecue
In a bold move, Made Man failed to recognize Franklin, arguably the best BBQ joint in Texas. Photo courtesy of Franklin Barbecue
Daniel Vaughn, Aaron Franklin and Justin Fourton at Meat Fight in Dallas
Daniel Vaughn and Aaron Franklin know their barbecue.  Photo by Cecily Johnson
Salt Lick Barbeque
Franklin Barbecue
Daniel Vaughn, Aaron Franklin and Justin Fourton at Meat Fight in Dallas

Online men’s magazine Mademan.com has released a list of the “11 Best BBQ Joints in America” that has some, well, interesting results.

The first thing any Texan is wondering is who made the cut. And the good news is that we’ve got two spots on the list. They’re not ranked, but The Salt Lick in Driftwood and Angelo’s Bar-B-Que in Fort Worth received recognition.

If you’re to go by someone like Daniel Vaughn — or just about anyone else — then this list manages to hit Texas, just you know, a foot from the bull’s eye since there are probably 11 spots in the state that would make this list before Angelo’s or The Salt Lick. (Made Man, you misspelled Franklin’s twice — and got it in the wrong city to boot.)

Unfortunately, author Jason Epstein didn’t just stick to messing with Texas. In a list with 11 joints, he included one from Ohio, two from New York, one from Chicago and one from Venice, California.

Sure, Fette Sau in Brooklyn has won Zagat’s “Best BBQ in NYC” two years in a row and is known for house-made brisket, pastrami (!) and boneless ribs (!!). But we’ve got real beef with including Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a chain with locations in Syracuse and Rochester, especially because the chain is lauded for “killer Southern-style picnic items like deviled eggs and fried green tomatoes.” They make their Creole potato salad the way their parents taught them with recipes passed down from many great Southern generations. 

Of course, none of that even matters compared to Baby Blues BBQ in Venice, where you can get black Angus brisket, Texas-style beef ribs and Memphis-style pork ribs. You know who else does Memphis-style pork ribs pretty well? Memphis, a city that does not have any representation on the list even though it’s one of the four barbecue capitals in the U.S.

This list would be worth getting angry about, but that would require more effort than Epstein put into it — and that seems silly.

We’ll just say this: enough with the “everyone gets a trophy mentality.” You don’t have to have every corner of the country covered if they’re not doing the best whatever. And if you’re mentioning a food item by describing where it’s from, the odds are that region should probably be represented somewhere.

It would be concerning if a list of best pizzas described a joint in Denver as having great New York-style pie if New York City wasn’t on that list somewhere as well. We call that "Lists 101."

But yeah, California and New York have great barbecue and “Southern-style sides,” sure. Stick to manscaping tips and telling us eight ways to party all night, Made Man.

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Austin news, views + events

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address